Tigers kick it in gear, pull away from Bears

Kyle Poynter returned the opening second-half kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to jump-start the Houston Tigers’ 56-34 district-opening victory Friday night at Willow Springs.

Houston (5-3) led 21-14 when Poynter fielded the kick at the Tigers’ 10-yard line and streaked 90 yards untouched for a pivotal score that sparked 21 consecutive points that put away winless Willow Springs (0-8).

After the Tigers’ defense forced a punt, junior tailback Justin Schmidt scored from two yards out to cap a 9-play drive that put Houston ahead 35-14. Sophomore Cory Scheets recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, leading to David Weybright’s 3-yard pass to Martin Crawford on 4th-and-goal.

Weybright had rushing touchdowns of 5, 1, 1 yards in the first half and threw for three scores in the second half. Crawford had a pair of touchdown receptions and Poynter hauled in a 20-yard score – his sixth TD catch in the last three games – that made it 56-21 with 9:59 remaining and started the mercy clock.

Houston 7 14 21 14 – 56

Willow Springs 6 8 0 20 – 34

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